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Topic: Mahler #6, 2nd/3rd movement: Andante moderato

  1. #1

    Mahler #6, 2nd/3rd movement: Andante moderato

    Dear friends, it is Mahler time again.

    This time I recorded from his 6th Symphony the slow and quiet movement. Some of you may be aware that there is a dispute about the order of movements in this Symphony (Adagio/Scherzo vs Scherzo/Adagio). I am currently staying out of this debate, because I "perform" this movement out of context. And I think it really can stand on its own. As can actually most movements from his symphonies.

    In 2011 I did publish an album called "Slow Mahler... Out of Context", where I put 6 of his slow movements from various symphonies together. This new recording here would belong to to this CD.

    I do have another plan for an album "Austrian Mahler... Out of Context", where I would compile those movements with a typical Austrian character, e.g. Laendler etc. I wonder why nobody has done such lateral compilations across Symphonies yet... seems at first kind of a sacrilege to disturb the holy order of the symphony movements, but there may be a surprising "red thread" also across symphonies, which can by highlighted through such compilations.

    Anyway, I seem to ramble on here.... here is the music:

    Done in my usual way: playing live each instrument (solely from Garritan Personal Orchestra 4) from the score into a sequencer (Sonar), then drawing the tempo map as the actual "conducting".
    And working around some deficiencies: why does the sampled E-Clarinet not have all the high notes that are in the score? (I had to use a flute to play those). And why does the Celesta only have the upper half of the keyboard? Required are also many notes below... so I had to use a combination of Harpsichord and piano to emulate the Celesta. But nevertheless, I am quite satisfied with the overall outcome. In fact, I think this is the most expressive work that I have recorded so far.

    Let me know what you think!

  2. #2

    Re: Mahler #6, 2nd/3rd movement: Andante moderato

    Hi Reinhold! This sounds nice to me. Because of the length, I admit to jumping around a bit on my listening. The render also sounds good to me. I am curious as to how you entered the instruments. Did you play literally one instrument at a time all the way thru or did you play chords on the keyboard and distribute the parts in Sonar.
    Thanks for posting. Jay

  3. #3

    Re: Mahler #6, 2nd/3rd movement: Andante moderato

    What a demanding task to enter all these thousands of notes, be it on a keyboard. But the overall result is great, fantastic. You do honour to the Garritan Library. Those who are in doubt about the quality of GPO should take a listen.

    Very nice rendering too!

    Thanks for sharing.


  4. #4

    Re: Mahler #6, 2nd/3rd movement: Andante moderato

    Thank you, Jay and Max, for your positive feedback!

    My method is to play each instrument from the score in live play on the keyboard. Sometimes chords, when there are several flutes for example. But also often independent, when the expression within the chords would go in different directions, e.g. one voice gets louder, the other quieter. This live-play recording method is much faster than directly editing each note, and it also allows me to convey some "liveliness", by getting the desired attack through velocity, and to some extend by some phrasing, playing non-quantized and not exactly on the beat, although the metronome is set to a constant speed (playing a bit slower than the final tempo, to make my playing easier ). I noticed that for some reason my live play is slightly ahead of the actual beat, and I leave that intact to preserve the live play feeling.

    I usually start from the bottom of the score, get the bass track recorded, then build up the strings, a then add instrument by instrument. Sometimes in shorter segments, 1 or 2 pages, building in these segments the full score so that I can already hear the final sound. When I have about more than half of a piece ready at that stage, I then often record each instrument until the end, to get a feel of the final flow and the duration.

    The 2nd stage is then adding the expression. I do this also live through the wheel, adding controller #1, which are indeed #11. This is done in live replay and added for each instrument track independently.

    Finally, I do the actual "conducting" by drawing the tempo map. This is unfortunately an offline process, with lots of try and error. I draw the tempo as array of linear segments. Looks like the Dolomite mountains, very rugged. Even within each bar there is some tempo dynamic, often resulting in a slight ritardando at the end.

    And that is it, not much more to it

  5. #5

    Re: Mahler #6, 2nd/3rd movement: Andante moderato

    Looks like the Dolomite mountains
    This sounds very Mahlerian in context
    Bravo Reinhold
    Arrigo Beyle / Milanese / Lived, wrote, loved -- Stendhal
    Being Italian is a full-time job -- B. Severgnini

  6. #6

    Re: Mahler #6, 2nd/3rd movement: Andante moderato

    For me, it's always a very special event when you return to the Forum, Reinhold, with one of your amazing classical productions. Thank you So much for gracing The Listening Room with your latest, and spectacularly well done realization of Mahler.

    This takes me back to when I first discovered GPO and listened to the impressive demos of classic music at the Garritan site. The attention to detail, the musicianship served so well by the great sample Library was, and is, so impressive.

    Now it's rather rare to have these kinds of massive, meticulously rendered projects posted here, so it's a treat when one is. Your work has always been in this category I'm talking about - the stuff that should inspire Garritan users both new and old to strive for yet even more perfection.

    The piece itself is brilliant. Mahler was in a class by himself, so originally and effectively straddling the 19th and 20th Centuries, and bursting with a mad kind of magic that should keep his music lingering forever.

    And, as your other posts have also shown, your recording is the perfect demonstration of how the combination of MIDI keyboard and software can produce such fantastic results. It's beyond the resources of many notation users to adapt your methods of using DAW software, since so many don't use a keyboard, and don't feel comfortable with playing one. But if ever there was something to inspire and motivate them to at least experiment with the approach you describe - this recording would be it.

    Just as you explain in your post - to actually play these various lines, with your software capturing natural imperfections in timing, and the natural variety of velocities - and then to thoroughly perform the volume part of each instrument's performance, topped off with the refined control of tempi you can get through a Tempo Map, as opposed to relying on a handful of tempo markings - It all just adds up to such highly musical results.

    And when used so professionally and thoroughly, one couldn't ask for a more vivid demonstration of how excellent GPO is as a sample Library. As with all of the Garritan Libraries, when people are disappointed in the results they get, it's always a matter of not having applied enough creative muscle behind their efforts. There are those who just trigger notes, and those who actually play the instruments - there's a huge gulf between the results of these two approaches.

    Hearing your rendition of Mahler provided me the brightest 15 minutes of any morning in recent memory.

    Thank you so much, Reinhold.


  7. #7

    Re: Mahler #6, 2nd/3rd movement: Andante moderato

    Thank you very much, Randy. I am very glad that you enjoy my rendition. And I am also very grateful to have such a tool like the GPO at my hands, so that I can make music like this.

    BTW, if anyone is interested:
    Right now there is an online live concert streaming from Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Dallas Symphony is playing under Jaap van Zweden.
    At the moment is Korngold's Violin Concerto in D, violinist Hilary Hahn.

    And this is followed in a few minutes by - the complete Mahler #6!

    So naturally I am tuned in, although there are a few net-related disruptions.

    ---- edit: stupid me, I had forgotten to copy the URL here into this anouncement of the concert.
    They still have the recording online:
    I could not listen live, as my internet streaming was too slow, and the server apparently was overloaded
    end edit ---

  8. #8
    New Member casals51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    near Lyon, France

    Re: Mahler #6, 2nd/3rd movement: Andante moderato


    You're talking about "conducting". I'm sorry, don't see any conductor here, or perhaps some kind of highway driving. Here is an example of what conducting an orchestra in this marvelous piece of music means: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ja-Vle7Fko (Leonard Bernstein).

    Not enough time to say more tonight, guess I'll have to!


  9. #9

    Re: Mahler #6, 2nd/3rd movement: Andante moderato

    Quote Originally Posted by casals51 View Post

    You're talking about "conducting". I'm sorry, don't see any conductor here, or perhaps some kind of highway driving. Here is an example of what conducting an orchestra in this marvelous piece of music means: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ja-Vle7Fko (Leonard Bernstein).
    Hi Francis,
    yes, the term "conducting" is not appropriate here; that is why I put it in quotation marks. I need to find another word for what I am doing, because the end result is supposed to be comparable to what a real conductor creates with his/her orchestra.

    I know the recording you point to, and yes, the real conducting of Bernstein is absolutely fabulous. Very emotional, it captures you. However, this only works in a live performance, when one is present with the orchestra and sees Bernstein how he takes control and shapes the music. When just listening to his performance, without watching, I find his tempi of this movement way too slow and dragging.

    I prefer Gergiev and the LSO - more stringent tempi in my opinion.

  10. #10
    Senior Member tedvanya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Canada,winter Mexico

    Re: Mahler #6, 2nd/3rd movement: Andante moderato

    Dear Reinhold:

    We have touched bases a few years back, and connected because we both love Mahler. At the time you had a plan to do all his 9 (or 10 also?). If you are progressing by order, are you up to 6 now? Is there a way to hear all you done?
    I am floored by the work you are putting in and the resulting quality. Bernstein vs You? I think that that it is grossly unfair to compare performances this way. The feelings generated by a piece is so different from one to an other, and most of the time the differences are what makes it enjoyable to listen to the same piece over and over, not even considering the differences of the real orchestra and you playing all parts one by one.
    Listening to your version, my conducting urges would do things differently some times, but enjoy your ideas very much.
    My hat is off, I am your admirer. (Did you ever do the 5th Adagionette? Would love to hear it.)


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